A healthy human brain is warmer than previously thought. New research has shown that normal human body and brain temperatures vary by an average of 1.5 – 3 °C depending on the daily cycle. Researchers believe this could be a sign of healthy brain function. In addition, the study found temperature differences between the male and female brains.
Scan to 4D Brain Map
Researchers at MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology have created a healthy human brain’s first 4D temperature map. Scanning using non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) showed how brain temperature varies according to gender, age, time of day, and menstrual cycle. The temperature also varies according to the brain’s area.
Previously, scientists believed that body and brain temperatures were the same. However, new research has shown that the normal temperature of the human brain differs much more than scientists thought, which could be a sign of healthy brain function. Forty men and women aged 20 to 40 years participated in the research. The brains of the volunteers underwent scans three times a day.
Male and Female Brain Temperature Differences
In healthy people, the temperature in the mouth is usually below 37 °C, but the average brain temperature is around 38.5 °C, as the scan shows. Deeper brain areas often exceed 40 °C, especially in women during the day. In the deeper parts of the brain, they often measured 40 °C, most up to 40.9 °C. The highest temperature was recorded in the afternoon, the lowest at night.
The data show that female brains were, on average, about 0.4 °C warmer than male brains. Researchers believe this is due to the menstrual cycle. Further scanning showed that the brain temperature increased with age. For example, the brain of 40-year-olds was on average 0.6 °C warmer than the brain of 20-year-olds.
In the past, doctors only measured the temperature of patients with brain trauma. Now, most surprisingly for scientists was that a healthy human brain can reach temperatures that would otherwise be diagnosed as a fever in general.
Source: ukri.org/news/healthy-human-brains-are-hotter-than-previously-thought/, Featured photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash.